Water leak at Crown Barangaroo tower basement

By Ethan Anderson Updated
Crown Sydney expected to underdeliver on tax revenue

A water leak at Crown Casino’s new towers at Barangaroo in Sydney has been reported. 

ABC News reports that less than a year after the $2.2 billion building was completed, the 271 metre tower has a water leak issue in its basement.

Part of the investigation involves determining whether ground water is seeping into the structure at Barangaroo.

A Crown spokeswoman wouldn’t discuss the nature of the leak but said it was being addressed by the builder Lendlease.

“Crown is aware of some isolated water that has entered limited areas of the basement,” she said.

“There is no impact on residents and the issue is already being addressed by the builder as part of its completion works.”

It is understood the work to rectify the problem in the lower level of the basement will begin shortly.

Lendlease declined to comment but a water leak at Crown add to the troubles for the casino operator.

The water leaks represent another troubled chapter in the gambling giant’s controversial Sydney development.

Construction of the multi-use tower began in 2016, after the NSW government signed an agreement with Crown three years earlier following its unsolicited proposal.

The tower includes a 350-room hotel, 82 luxury residences, more than a dozen bars and restaurants and a casino that is yet to be opened, pending a decision by the state’s gaming regulator.

Crown was subject to a lengthy probe, commissioned by NSW’s Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, to see if it was still suitable to hold the gaming licence at its Barangaroo location.

The inquiry found Crown operated two subsidiary bank accounts as part of its VIP gaming operation, which were later found to have facilitated money laundering.

The inquiry deemed the gambling giant was “unfit” to hold a gaming licence but since agreeing to adopt a cashless gaming model, it could open the high-roller venue by the end of 2021.

Financial impact of Crown Barangaroo questioned

While the hotel and restaurants in the building are already operating, it is unclear how many of the 82 apartments in Crown Residences One Barangaroo, listed on Knight Frank’s website as starting at $9.5 million have sold.

Knight Frank declined to give a figure, or divulge how many were still for sale.

Chinese property portal Juwai helped market the Barangaroo precinct to the Chinese market two years ago, with founder and executive Georg Chimel saying the recent developments would not detract buyers in the area.

“Our experience with scores of Asian buyers suggests that the casino would have been nice and would have generated demand, but its delay or absence is no dealbreaker for the suburb,” Mr Chimel said.

“If a family member asked me today if they should buy in Barangaroo, I would say yes, if you have the money.”

“The Liquor and Gaming Authority’s report is a much bigger deal for Crown the company than for the Barangaroo neighbourhood. People already live there. Prices have survived the pandemic. Most buyers have other motivations,” he said.

Ray White Residential Sydney CBD’s Michael Lowdon said foreign buyers would be more concerned about maintaining property value than keeping a casino.

“The thing that particularly hit me was, when you walk around you get a sense that it is very much aimed at the Chinese market and very much the pinnacle of the Chinese market,” he said.

“From the bars to the music to the fit out, everything is catered and has a Chinese influence.

“Now the fact that the casino is not there or could not be there in the future, will that make a difference? Who knows. It’s the million-dollar question.”

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